Overview

Let The Annihilation Begin

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At a point when everything from the traditional company-wide crossover (Civil War) to specific comic book storylines (Planet Hulk) is heralded by Marvel as a major event, it’s easy to be cynical about yet another hyped up extravaganza, this time “cosmic” in nature.

Maybe Annihilation will be the masterpiece all comic book fans have longed for, but then again, it might be all but forgotten by this time next year. Certainly, fans of characters like Silver Surfer and Nova will want to check it out, as will fans of science fiction comic books in general. But why should anyone else bother, especially if it means spending more money or maybe even cutting other titles to afford it?

Keith Giffen (the writer of a new Silver Surfer miniseries and the upcoming Annihilation miniseries) and Andy Schmidt (the editor overseeing the event) held a press conference on Thursday, February 09, to promote Annihilation: Prologue. And while they were short on specific details, they did offer three very good reasons why even casual comic book readers might want to give this a look.

1. It’s a labor of love.

When asked point blank why Annihilation would be better than other events, Giffen answered without missing a beat: “I’m writing it.” Then he got serious, admitting that he’s always been a major fan of Marvel’s cosmic creations and was overjoyed that he finally would have the chance to work with them.

As for Schmidt, he has long been trying to convince Marvel to bring these characters out of unofficial retirement. With the moderate success of Drax: The Destroyer (a miniseries Keith Giffen also wrote), the time was right. Schmidt is eager to see characters like Super Skrull and Ronan dusted off and brought back into the mainstream, so a new generation of comic book readers can find out just how cool they can be. And he wants to do it in a huge way.

Besides the one-shot Annihilation: Prologue, there will be four related miniseries. Nova will be written by Andy Lanning and Dan Abnett, with Kev Walker penciling. Simon Furman will be writing and Jorge Lucas will be drawing the Ronin title. Super-Skrull will be written by Javier Grillo-Marxuach, with artwork by Greg Titus. And as mentioned earlier, Keith Giffen will be responsible for Silver Surfer (with Renato Arlem penciling his scripts).

All four miniseries will stand on their own, but they will all also work as stories that lead into Annihilation, a six-part miniseries that will effectively change The House of Ideas’ cosmic universe forever.

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2. It’s personal.

Annihilation promises to make major changes both to the Marvel Universe outside of Earth and to the cosmic characters that populate the Universe. But while there will be action and heroism on an epic scale, there will also be a definite focus on what these events mean on a personal basis.

“Every death counts,” Giffen stated, explaining that in the midst of this cosmic war, there will be hard decisions to make and repercussions will be felt on an individual level. As for Silver Surfer, referred to as one of the most boring of the cool characters in Marvel by one of the invited participants, Giffen has definite plans for him.

He has no interest in a character that can basically do anything, yet sits around and mopes. Instead, Giffen wants to make Surfer more proactive, intrigued by the idea of such a powerful man deciding to do what he thinks is right. What would be the consequences, especially considering the fact that – right or wrong – he would essentially be unchallenged?

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3. You can test the waters first.

Keith Giffen is writing Annihilation: Prologue (penciled by Scott Kolins & Ariel Olivetti) as an introduction to the event. The comic book will be 48 pages with no ads for just $3.99, so anyone interested can get a good feel for the story without having to buy more than one issue.

As all comic book fans know, nothing is guaranteed. Some of the events that look amazing beforehand turn out to be forgettable or even annoying. Others are well worth the hype. It’s difficult at this point to know which category Annihilation will fall into.

But the signs are good and the risk is minimal. That’s enough to give it a shot.

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